Study Guide

Resume Quotes

  • Death (Suicide)

    You might as well live. (line 8)

    Strangely enough, this is the only line in the poem that directly addresses death – everything else in the poem skirts the issue. When the poem finally addresses mortality, it does so in the negative: we learn that the rest of the poem was about death only when we read that the other option is life.

  • Choices

    Rivers are damp; (line 2)

    The speaker explores some of the downsides of her listed options with a tongue-in-cheek sort of irony. She's not opposed to rivers because, for example, drowning is terrifying. Nope, she's opposed to rivers because they are "damp."

    And drugs cause cramp; (line 4)

    Sure, this line occurs halfway through the poem, but it's the only line that contains (let alone begins with) "and." This word choice signals that Parker wants us to think of all of the things she's listing as options that could be weighed against each other.

  • Passivity

    Resume (title)

    Entitling this poem "Resume" suggests that the speaker isn't about to advocate for any earth-shattering life changes in the near future.  Nope, she's upholding the status quo. Nothing's going to get any better – but at least things aren't getting any worse. (Want to know more about this?  Check out "What's Up with the Title?")

    You might as well live. (line 8)

    You can almost hear the sigh in the speaker's voice as she resigns herself to…life.  There's about as much enthusiasm in this resolution as there would be if the speaker were deciding to stay home and do the laundry on a Friday night. Why do you think this is the case?